Qualifying a pain in the back for Raikkonen

Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:22pm EDT
 
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By Patrick Johnston

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Kimi Raikkonen vowed to be on the Singapore Grand Prix starting grid after gritting his teeth and qualifying his Lotus in 13th place on Saturday with the help of pain-killing injections for a sore back.

"This morning I couldn't really drive so we didn't do what we were supposed to do but that's how it goes. We'll see what we can do tomorrow," the 2007 champion told reporters after qualifying.

If that sounded non-committal, a later team release was more positive.

"It's not the first time I've driven with a problem and it probably won't be the last time either, but I'll be on the grid tomorrow and we'll try to get the maximum from where we are at the start," he said.

Raikkonen, who told reporters on Thursday that one of the reasons he was returning to Ferrari next season was because Lotus had not paid him his full salary, did not linger in the paddock after the session.

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier, who reiterated that his driver would be paid in full and questioned why the Finn had gone public with the salary issue, said the team would be keeping a close eye on Raikkonen's condition.

"Obviously with the injection from the painkillers he doesn't feel anything (now) but I think we will have to monitor it overnight and we'll see tomorrow," he said.

DIFFICULT WEEKEND   Continued...

 
Lotus F1 Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland walks in the pit lane during the Singapore F1 Grand Prix at the Marina Bay street circuit in Singapore September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Pablo Sanchez